Attention freeriders! Registration for the upcoming risk’n’fun season has already begun. Between December and April, there are a total of 13 dates in Austria and South Tyrol (Italy) on this year’s calendar. Once again, all snowboarders and freeskiers age 16 and up can join risk’n’fun trainers and mountain guides from the Youth Section of the Austrian Alpine Association to learn the essentials they need to know for riding outside the marked slopes.

In 5-day training sessions, participants, risk’n’fun trainers and mountain guides work together to develop personal powder strategies. Using existing strategies, such as the Austrian Alpine Association’s “stop or go" strategy as a jumping-off point, we work together intensely with participants on various subjects that will allow them to better assess and judge risks and optimize decision making outside the secured slopes. Where can I get avalanche warnings and reports? How can I use this information once I’m out in the terrain? What are the standard security measures? How do I use my safety equipment properly? How will others in my group influence my personal decision making? These are all important questions that we go into in depth with our groups. We help participants form their own personal powder strategies that they can take back to their home resort when the five days are up. For all those who have already participated in risk’n’fun, we are offering two ‘next level’ dates again this year. These are concerned with planning and implementing extended tours, and dealing in-depth with issues like how easily each person takes risks, or how they go about making decisions. For the third time, we are also offering a tour week this winter, the “backcountry pro". At the end of the season, all participants, trainers and mountain guides can meet up again for the traditional chill out, where we will be offereing various workshops, from seraching for avalanche transceivers to short or extended tours. The package price of EUR 255,- or 370,- includes all course fees, accomodation with half board, lift tickets.

For all other dates, information and registration, go to www.risk-fun.com

Risk´N´Fun partipants’ testimonials

Maria Noisternig “What did I take home with me from this camp? No question: a completely and profoundly different attitude towards backcountry riding. I am sure that in the future I’ll be much more conscientious in making my decisions, and will therefore be a whole lot safer. What we learned in the camp is not just about knowledge, it’s about responsibility: what to do in situations when you’re riding with friends and you have to make a decision – do you charge the slope or not? There’s no question that peer pressure and group dynamics play a huge role when it comes to making decisions like that. It’s not always easy being the “level-headed" one, the “voice of reasons" in the group. Before this course, I was more likely to leave the decision up to someone else, someone “more competent." Now, it’s important to me to be an active part of the decision-making process, to share what I know and what I’ve learned with the others in the group. The course has made me much more aware of my own limits: it’s going to take a lot of practice and experience to be able to size up and evaluate situations in the future. But now, if I have any doubts, I’ll stick to what’s less risky. In the end it’s up to each individual person to decide what they want to do. I just think it’s really important to have a good, solid basis on which to base your decisions. By that I mean background knowledge on things like the external factors (snow pack, avalanche warnings, terrain, …) and being able to assess your own capabilities (your level of skill, how big a risk you’re willing to take…)"

Tom Greil (risk´n´fun trainer, sports scientist, boardercross coach)

“Our program and its contents are quite different from what others offer. Risk’n’fun is not just an Alpine course; our courses are a blend of hard skills and soft skills. Our specially trained risk’n’fun trainers teach the soft skills. We work on our participants’ perception, or use role play games to really show them how group dynamics and peer pressure come into play in decision-making processes. Our mountain guides convey the hard skills, like how to use emergency equipment properly or how to interpret avalanche warnings and bulletins. We see both parts of the training as equally important, and always stay true to our core values when teaching and learning: openness, mutual respect and information exchange. Participants develop their strategies for the backcountry together with the trainers and mountain guides. We don’t just throw knowledge at them, we don’t preach – everyone needs to play an active part, ask questions, discuss, debate. That’s where we achieve real results, the really good stuff. Thanks to all the input during the courses, it’s not just the participants who learn – so do our trainers and mountain guides. Mount, descent, discussions, powder rides – this helps everyone develop a better feel for good lines, and of course for the dangers and risks involved.

Risk´N´Fun on tour 2008/2009

LEVEL 1: TRAINING SESSIONS: 13.12. - 17.12.2008 Sölden 03.01. - 07.01.2009 Kaunertaler Gletscher 14.01. – 18.01.2009 Fieberbrunn 21.01. – 25.01.2009 Kühtai 07.02. – 11.02.2009 Heiligenblut 15.02. – 19.02.2009 Plose 28.02. – 04.03.2009 Tauplitz 04.03. – 08.03.2009 Leogang

LEVEL 2: NEXT LEVEL: 25.01. - 29.01.2009 Sonnenkopf 23.03. – 27.03.2009 Planneralm

LEVEL 3: BACKCOUNTRY PRO: 09.02. – 13.02.2009 Innervillgraten

UPDATES: 10.01. – 11.01.2009 Hochkar

CHILL OUT 28.3. – 29.3.2009 Planneralm